This weekend, you can help support the Waukesha County shelter that rehabilitates around 3,000 injured and abandoned wild animals every year.
Right now, the Wildlife in Need Center in Oconomowoc boasts about 40 baby squirrels in its mammal nursery. Workers and volunteers there are also caring for dozens of baby turtles before releasing them out into the wild, and even an injured eagle who was hit by a car.
"In addition to taking in about 3,000 patients a year, we also run 150 education programs," said Mandy Feavel, Director of Animal Care & Wildlife Rehabilitator at the Wildlife in Need Center.
Some injured animals stay for months, and the costs of feeding them and performing medical procedures like surgeries or x-rays add up. However, the center receives no taxpayer money. It relies entirely on private donations. That's why it only employs seven full time workers.
"We rely a lot on volunteers," Feavel said.
But she added those volunteers help workers with important tasks that help animals in need return to nature.
"We put in weeks and months of work, so seeing each animal get a second chance in the wild is really the best part of the job," Feavel said.
On Saturday, the WIldlife in Need Center will host "Wildlife in the Park" from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cory Park in Dousman. There will be food and activities for kids involving the Wildlife in Need Center's "ambassadors" - like Chase, who's a (de-scented) skunk.
You can also shop the center's gift shop and participate in a raffle or make a donation. All funds raised will continue to support the Wildlife in Need Center's mission and help keep the shelter open for another year.